Photo: Ceiling Demons – Psy & Dan
© 2014 Marc McGarraghy/Yellow Mustang Photography
This week’s free downloadable BBC Introducing Mixtape features handpicked tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader by THE RAMONA FLOWERS, HELMHOLTZ RESONATORS, SYKES, CEILING DEMONS, EYES FOR GERTRUDE, HERCULES MORSE, ELECTRIC TUXEDO, KENTISH FIRE, GREAT PAGANS, ALEX HIGHTON, DIGO, CRESPO & ELEMENTAL, THE EDGE PROJECT, ATLAS EYES, THE JACQUES, TRANSMAT and OLIVER MEADS/MAIQAUN.
The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each programme is then downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and start times for each track are published here at Fresh On The Net together with information about the music provided by the artists themselves. Previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website.
All tracks are sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader. Some are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues while the rest are tunes I’ve discovered here via our Fresh On The Net inbox. For more about how the process works see this post – and if your music is in thie week’s mixtape please see the important warning at the bottom of this page. These are the listings for the episode broadcast overnight on Sunday 16th Nov (technically 2am on Monday, 17th Nov 2014…)
THE RAMONA FLOWERS – Lust And Lies [starts 0:17]
This is the latest single from the album Dismantle & Rebuild – released in July on Distiller Records by the Bristol five-piece The Ramona Flowers. They’re a first rate band – who also make stunning videos – and it’s frustrating that the information they provide about themselves online amounts… to absolute zero. Not even the names of the group members. However their record company website does boast a wealth of “iconic”, “much-celebrated” and “eagerly anticipated” cliches ranging from “powerful”, “hailing from”, “inspirations” and “anthemic”, to “emotionally charged”, “mentorship”, “wide-ranging”, “textural”, “renowned”, “at the height of”, “stadium-ready”, “relentless touring” – and three personal favourites – “meld”, “hone” and “slickly cohesive”. No factual information about the group, obviously, but some hilarious additions to our handy guide on How To Speak Press Release.
HELMHOLTZ RESONATORS – Automaton [starts 4:00]
“Did you ever buy a new gadget that was so nifty you wanted to make a song and dance about it? Well, The Helmholtz Resonators have done exactly that. Built from a Walkman, some “odds and sods” and more than a little ingenuity, the eccentric musician/scientists have procured a robot to help with their chores and provide entertainment during the long winter evenings. This charming droid has had such an impact on their lives that it has inspired their latest single Automaton – released a week on Monday (Nov 24) via Genepool Records.” The band are, they add, “a renegade group of psychedelic audio scientists who have been playing and writing music together since the turn of the century. Currently putting the finishing touches to a new album due for release around the ides of March next year.” Now that’s what I call a biog.
SYKES – I’d Do It Again [starts 7:07]
“South London three-piece Sykes make alternative pop that blends upbeat guitar music with infectious pop melodies and soft female vocals. Having been praised for having a ‘unique sound that pours from each member’ (Indie Licks), the spectrum of Sykes’ collective influences are as far ranging as Daft Punk through to Fleetwood Mac.”
CEILING DEMONS – Every Step [starts 10:26]
(FOLD Follow The Lights Remix)
“Yorkshire’s alternative hip hop dwellers Ceiling Demons consist of identical twin brother MCs Psy Ceiling and Dan Demon, plus producer Beat Demon. They opened for Young Fathers during the UK leg of their world tour this year as well as the mighty De La Soul at York’s YO1 Festival. This brand new remix of their classic Every Step Is Moving Me Up comes from Leeds triphop purveyors Fold and aims to help those suffering from mental health issues (depression etc) with its positive and uplifting message. It will be released digitally a week today (Mon Nov 25) and is supported by the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). From Nov 25 – Dec 5 the group are auctioning a bundle of goodies that includes a signed copy of Dual Sides and limited edition Amputated Spirit CD, plus band T-shirt, stickers, badges, setlists, original paintings & artwork. All proceeds to CALM.”
EYES FOR GERTRUDE – Julian [starts 13:30]
“The first song that Eyes For Gertrude penned together, in deepest, darkest Dartington College of Arts is this track Julian. It’s taken from their debut album Residential Bliss, produced in Vancouver by Ben Mink (K.D Lang, Feist), whose signature string arrangements feature prominently on the record. It offers piano pulsed, accordion tinged, guitar swooned songs shaped around captivating observations of the everyday. Now based in the South West, the band have played various festivals this summer include Glastonbury and Larmer Tree. The album will be released on Jan 24 with a launch gig in Bristol at The Louisiana and can be pre-ordered on iTunes here.”
HERCULES MORSE – Good Old Days [starts 16:00]
“Hercules Morse are a newly formed hard rock band born out of the ashes of The Blue Screen of Death whose song What Would Arnie Do? was also previously featured on the BBC Introducing Mixtape and was voted a Fresh Fave by readers of this blog in Sept 2012. This new track, Good Old Days, takes a tongue-in-cheek look at 90s nostalgia, and the accompanying video stars former Fun House and Radio 1 presenter Pat Sharp! Their debut EP was released at the end of last month and the band will be heading out on tour in January in support of the release of a second EP in February 2015.”
ELECTRIC TUXEDO – Memories Of A Past Life [starts 19:26]
“Electric Tuxedo is a three-piece band from London – consisting of Horia Stancu (bass), Catalin Razlet-Condu (drums) and Andrei Sora (vocal & guitar) – and taking a shot at the British rock scene. They have performed around London, most notably at the Surya and The Garage, and are currently working on their first album, an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from the Foo Fighters, Muse to JS Bach and Arctic Monkeys. You can listen to their newest songs on their SoundCloud and YouTube pages – for news and upcoming gigs please check out their website.”
KENTISH FIRE – In Our Band [starts 22:40]
“Kentish Fire is a four piece synth-pop act that above all else, is a band that likes to keep a tongue in cheek. Their latest single, In Our Band covers the story of a group of musicians who have been forced to resign themselves to performing as a cover band to make ends meet. Their dreams of success are dashed as they find themselves regurgitating generic cover songs and taking requests. The song, led by lead singer Michael Inkpen, is taken over by bassist Anna Jackson as she names a long list of cover songs, strung together with an irreverently cheeky rap delivery. The single has been launched along with an extraordinary music video that was filmed with the same 360° camera used to create the Google Street View mapping tool.”
GREAT PAGANS – December [starts 26:02]
When you like a tune as much as I like December by Great Pagans there really is nothing like an entertaining and informative band biog. And this really is nothing like an entertaining and informative band biog:
Obviously there’s no need to write a load of flowery bollocks about how great your music is because we can hear that for ourselves. But if you’ve taken the trouble of writing and recording a tune to this standard, why not take a little extra trouble to tell your fans something about how and why you made it. The story doesn’t even need to be true: who cares whether Helmholz Resonators really are “scientists who’ve built a robot to help with their chores”? But for Pete’s sake make it a bit more interesting than “Part of the Anti-Ghost Moon Ray Collective”. See How To Write A Band Biog.
ALEX HIGHTON – It Falls Together [starts 30:03]
“Alex Highton – the modern-retro songwriter from Liverpool acclaimed by the likes of The Guardian and BBC6 Music – has announced the arrival of his new album Nobody Knows Anything. It will be released on 1st Dec on Gare Du Nord Records. Very much a progression from his folky debut, Highton incorporates elements from a range of genres including but not limited to jazz, story-telling, classical, acoustic, electronic and rag time. I’m playing a couple of shows to celebrate the release and next year I’ll be touring in The Uk, Ireland & Europe. Oh, and the record gets released in the US on a new label Working Dad Recordings in the Spring. Gigs: London Servants Jazz Quarters (Nov 25) and Bury St Edmunds The Hunter Club (Nov 27).”
DIGO – Blue Letter [starts 33:24]
“Digo are a 5-piece Brighton-based band taking influence from psychedelia, post-punk, grunge and shoegaze. Formed whilst studying at Brighton Institute of Modern Music in 2011, the band have made regular appearances on the local circuit with both headline shows and supporting roles. Their live performance both engages and entices leaving no stone unturned. Having gained a few plays from Tom Ravenscroft on BBC 6 Music and played a string of shows throughout the year, the band will be seeing 2014 out with a series of gigs over December. Most notably supporting Thyla at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on 1st December and Tombes at Bleach on the 11th.
Available as a pay what you want download from Bandcamp, Blue Letter is released off the back of their double A-side Sleep All Day.”
CRESPO & ELEMENTAL – Everyday’s A Saturday [starts 37:42]
“Crespo produces a form of hip hop music he likes to listen to, taking influences from all over the place, digging through weird and wonderful records for unique hooks to sample, adding some stonking drums and expanding on them with baselines and keyboard parts. Sometimes he gets his friends to sing or rap over them.”
THE EDGE PROJECT – Moon Monkey [starts 40:40]
“The Edge Project is a studio based musical project, led by Welsh trumpeter and composer Ben Thomas. The project was borne out of an aim to create music that drew influences from fairy tales and fantasy as well as a smattering of autobiographical references. The track Moon Monkey can be found on Within This World Within My Mind – the latest album from The Edge Project (released Christmas Eve 2013). This album features an augmented musical production of cinematic soundscapes immersed in outlandish expression. With each track now accompanied by painted artwork, photography and film, Within This World Within My Mind heralds the formation of a new artistic vision for The Edge Project. The project continues to evolve as an art project and now presents itself through musical productions, paintings, photography, film, exhibitions and live art. Within This World Within My Mind can be purchased from The Edge Project website.”
ATLAS EYES – Fear [starts 45:26]
“Based in Liverpool, Atlas Eyes are a 5-piece band creating a blend of styles and influences ranging from Beck to Bombay Bicycle Club. Joe Jackson, the lead vocalist, guitarist and song writer has been writing since he was 17 but only came into fronting a band when collaborating with lead guitarist Andrian. Andrian Sharples has been playing guitar since he was 11. Together, Joe and himself brought AE together, and have found the perfect partners to make their dreams a reality. Katie is an extremely talented bassists and vocalist, Elliot is a wizard in sound design and knows how to work himself around the keys and Alex the drummer is well… Alex! He’s known for his colourful background in the music scene. UNF, a track from their upcoming EP, has been chosen by BBC introducing as the producers’ pick and they have plans for touring the UK. Their next show is in Glasgow at The Box on December the 6th. Keep your eyes peeled!”
THE JACQUES – Pretty DJ [starts 48:25]
“The Jacques are the bastard teenage love child of cockney guitar pop and just about anything that came out of New York during the early ‘00s. Two sets of brothers, all 16-21, they charge with their Britpop bayonets against the modern view that rock and roll with clever lyrics is dying. Brought up on a diet of The Strokes, The Ramones, The Jam, The Lemonheads and Elvis Costello, they brought their own brand of noisy pop punk to festival stages across the summer.” See pic below.
TRANSMAT – Jack Russell Acid [starts 00:00]
Roz makes music with vintage gear and software in Darlington, Co Durham – “creating bits of acid and techno under the name Transmat and keeping up da MetalMachineMusic vibes. I also sometimes do the odd soundtrack for my friend’s short films…” he adds.
OLIVER MEADS/MAIQAUN – Writing On The wall [starts 0:17]
“Oliver Meads aka Maiqaun (pronounced – Make one) is a 22-yr-old West Midlands based Producer/Vocalist. Michael Meads is the man behind the music, his middle name is his stage name along with his urban production name Maiqaun (make one). Although Oli has no official releases, his works are continuous and remain driven. His first EP is due early 2015. The music Oliver creates always has a message and tends to go in any direction in terms of the genre. By not focusing on a particular genre, Oli has developed a prospective of the diverse music he wishes to release and hopes to progress onto a professional level in the near future. Oli uses Soundcloud to release day to day ideas and tracks to get feedback.”
ARTISTS: Important Warning…
At least one PR company sends out an identical email to every single artist who appears on The BBC Introducing Mixtape. Typically it says:
“Heard YOURNAMEHERE on BANDCAMP/SOUNDCLOUD/YOUTUBE and thought THEIR/HER/YOUR tracks sounded great. If you have any Album or Single releases coming up that you need Press / Radio / Online promotion for please let us know, and we will be happy to submit a promotional proposal. We have an eclectic team and work with INDIE / ALTERNATIVE / ELECTRONIC / LEFTFIELD / POP & URBAN releases.”
Please be aware you’re NOT receiving this proposal because the company think you in particular “sound great”: everyone else on the mixtape gets an identical proposal, every week. The usual email goes on to state that “PREVIOUS CLIENTS HAVE INCLUDED…” and list a lot of big international names from the late 90s and mid-noughties. The Radio Plugging section of that particular company’s website has the cheek to list BBC 6 Music and Radio 1 as “proud associates”. The BBC is emphatically not the “associate” of any promotion company – proud or otherwise.